W.Va. Regulators To Probe Complaints Over Suddenlink Service

Viewer issues

West Virginia’s Public Service Commission said Thursday it has opened an investigation into customer service complaints about Suddenlink Communications.

The PSC ordered Suddenlink to file information within 30 days. It also scheduled two public comment hearings and an evidentiary hearing in August at its Charleston headquarters, the agency said in a statement.

Suddenlink, owned by New York-based Altice, provides cable, internet and telephone service through much of the state.

Among the information the PSC wants are details on customer complaint call logs, worker training, completed and projected improvement projects to cable service, specific outage information and the processes used to issue and track trouble tickets.

Last month state PSC chair Charlotte Lane met with Suddenlink representatives about more than 1,900 complaints the agency received about the company’s service. Among the complaints were service restoration delays, billing errors, customers being unable to place orders for service or contact workers over their service status.

After Lane directed Suddenlink to provide a correction plan within 30 days, Suddenlink replied with a June 7 letter that did not contain a correction plan or detail what steps the company has taken to improve cable television service, the statement said.

“Suddenlink’s response to our request for a corrective plan to its disastrous customer service problems was completely inadequate,” Lane said.

In its response to the PSC’s query last month, Altice said that it has resolved nearly all of the customer complaints cited by the agency, and that in many instances it issued credits “for customer inconvenience.”

A community meeting over Suddenlink’s cable service in the city of Charleston was held last month. The company’s cable franchise agreement with the city ends in December, WCHS-TV reported.

“I’m the 80-something-year-old lady who writes ‘I hate this company’ on every check I send to you,” resident Shawna Steadman said at the meeting.

Altice has more than 5 million residential and business customers in 21 states through its Suddenlink and Optimum brands.